March 29, 2017
Pipo, the Tapir that we introduced briefly in our last blog, has an amazing story.
Pipo arrived at our lodge as an orphan calf in a boat of illegal loggers whose engine had broken down and needed some help before continuing their down river journey on the Madre de Dios River.
Rufina who was at that time (about six years ago) our chef, and still is, was moved by the calf crying and questioned harshly the illegals for the real story behind that baby Tapir. The reason why that Tapir was in their boat was one very common with illegal loggers. They are usually financed by wood traders who provide them
with basically, rice, some potatoes, salt, cooking oil, matches,gasoline and plenty of cartridges to be used by shotguns that sometimes they also provide. In this case they had shot the calf mother for meat and kidnapped the calf to be sold in Colorado or perhaps even in Pto. Maldonado, where their risks of being catch were high but their retribution was also at the same level.
Rufina managed to convince them that their chances of being caught were high and preferably a better option was to sell the calf to the Lodge for two hundred soles (about Us $62).
Lucho Raffo the owner of the lodge raised hell when in his monthly visit he found out about this acquisition that was against his standards of not encouraging Amazonian fauna commerce.
Those that know Rufina agree that she is terrible stubborn and difficult to convinced and at the end her will prevailed. To the satisfaction of the rest of the team at Blanquillo who just in a few days were wined over by the tenderness of the calf.
As years passed by, he became more and more confident with tourists and the Lodge staff. Over the years, hundreds of tourists have enjoyed Pipo sniffing their camera bag, or taking crazy selfies with them, Pipo found a home with us.
Over the last couple of years, Pipo has moved away further and further to into the jungle, presumably as he reached sexual maturity and is constantly searching for possible mates. It has been more than 6 months since the last time we saw him, and we hope he is doing just fine.
If you wish to learn more about this or any other topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.